#65 Industry Expert Interview: Embracing citizen development
How to embrace Citizen Development, unlock innovation, encourage employee engagement and drive you digital transformation agenda
Hey there, welcome to our Citizen Development panel discussion! We’ve got some awesome guests joining us today from Enate, Smart Automation, and Go Beyond Partners. These industry pros are going to give us the inside scoop on how citizen development is shaking things up in the business world. We’ll talk about the good, the bad, and everything in between. From automating tasks to empowering employees, we’ll see how it’s all making a big difference. So, grab a seat and let’s dive into the world of citizen development.
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For more details on the topic of Citizen Development, download the full whitepaper here:
Get in touch with our podcast guests:
- Gerald Pullen – Gobeyond Partners – Connect
- Lee Edwards – Smart Automation – Connect
- Chris Pearce – Enate – Connect
Do you have any questions? Would you like to give us feedback? Are you an expert in the field of automation and would like to be on the podcast? Let us know: https://bit.ly/3lyq9Yj
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Check out this whitepaper, which was created by Gobeyond partners in collaboration with Enate, Smart Automation, and Velocity IT, it provides in-depth insights into the topic of citizen development. The paper, authored by Gerald Pullen, Gobeyond Partners’ Technology Delivery Director, and sheds further light on the significance of citizen development in the current business landscape, critical factors for successful implementation, and why it is imperative for business leaders to consider its potential impact on delivering business strategy and driving business success.
Citizen Development – How to unlock, engage and drive digital transformation
Gerald Pullen – Technology Delivery Director – Gobeyond Partners
Lee Edwards – Co-founder & Director – Smart Automation
Chris Pearce – Vice President of Customer Success – Enate
Sascha Cutura (host) – Convedo
Arno van Rooyen (co-host)- Velocity IT
Sascha Cutura: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Process and Automation podcast with the automation guys. Usually you hear just me and Arno talking about all things process and automation. Today we have a very special episode, our first round table, our first panel discussion here on the podcast.
[00:00:28] Sascha Cutura: So the topic of today will be around embracing citizen development . Together with the expert panel, we will unpack citizen development. Why it is important now, what are the key considerations for getting implementation, right. We will cover why business leaders like you should be seriously considering how it can support the delivery of business strategy and contribute to business success.
[00:00:54] Sascha Cutura: So, I’m very excited to welcome our panelists for today’s discussion. [00:01:00] First, we have Gerald Pullen, Technology Delivery Director at Gobeyond Partners. Then we have Lee Edwards with us, Co-founder and Director from Smart Automation and finally, Chris Pierce, Vice President of Customer Success at Enate.
[00:01:13] Sascha Cutura: And we have also, Arno the other guy from the automation guys and managing director at Velocity. So yeah, welcome everyone. Really awesome to have you all here. It’s great that you all share the same passion for process and automation as we do.
[00:01:32] Sascha Cutura: Let’s dive straight in. Arno, maybe you would like to kick it off with maybe demystifying the word citizen developer, or what is a citizen developer?
[00:01:43] Arno Van Rooyen: Thank you Sasha, and once again good day to all our podcast listeners and welcome to our show. It’s a very interesting topic, it describes an employee that’s not part of the technology function within a business or somebody that’s not typically a technologist, like a software engineer or a software developer.
[00:02:07] Arno Van Rooyen: This person is, a very savvy technology consumer. But again, it’s not somebody that we would consider to be a technical developer. So for example, somebody that kind of writes code A techie code C, C plus plus, C sharp, H TML and that sort of thing. This person typically works within inside Business operation unit as an example, somebody in finance, or marketing or the legal department or you know, even something like HR. And again, this role might be very competent with something like Excel. You know, they’ll be able to take Excel and do wonderful things, whether they need to plug all sorts of gaps in pre-existing software.
Shadow IT solutions that a lot of companies rely on, right? So you just have to go to their file share and you, you kind of see all these, the wonderful Excel spreadsheets there that, that they use. So again, it’s a person that, that you want to sort of give a A technology platform too.
Y you want them to be able to look at better ways of working. So, you know, they’ll use these technologies to create solutions that saves themselves some time. So typically you know, you give them a marketing automation platform. and they’ll go in and they’ll start building workflows.
Mm-hmm. So again, if, I stick with the Excel analogy, if I just sort of put that aside and bring in a low and no-code platform, it actually gives these employees an opportunity to build their own software solutions. And again, it’s without writing codes. So it gives them this thing called a no-code platform and then they can build.
Things like mobile apps you know, web applications even things like software bots that automates repetitive tasks very quickly. Things like chatbot applications. Mm-hmm. . So again, the flexibility that these low and no code platforms provide. Can we sort of compare to the ability of, say for instance, something like Excel, but there’s no obvious constraints and limitations. And it’s essentially , these low-code platforms. They provide you with a drag and drop application development capability. Without having to write all of the sophisticated code, it does that in the background for you.
[00:04:23] Arno Van Rooyen: There’s this analogy again that floats around to say it’s like Lego. You know, a good citizen developer looks at a business problem and solves it by configuring a solution that combines these sort of easy to use blocks that’s within a low and a no-code platform. Mm-hmm. And again you know, because these processes that these people touch are usually operational and customer facing processes.
[00:04:48] Arno Van Rooyen: These solutions are very specific to the way these individuals work and think. , and again, you know, they are not created by the traditional IT software developers perhaps in the business or intervention from it, and this actually provides us with a very, very interesting benefit because it, it sort of just broadens the number of resources available within, inside a business to tackle problems people encounter in their day-to-day sort of business as usual work.
[00:05:18] Arno Van Rooyen: And this, this is what we call this quote, unquote citizen approach to development. What we see is the pace of change with inside an organization and the level of innovation. And the citizen development paradigm really empowers those non-technical people to automate mundane routine tasks in their day-to-day jobs. And that frees them up to spend more time doing really value added work. There is an interesting stat that I saw that’s published by 451 research and it tells us that. At the minute, 60% of all custom applications are built outside of the technology function. You know, and from a business perspective, of this 30% is built by employees that, you know, hasn’t got any software development or technical skills. For me, this is a very incredible insight into the way, you know, our future apps will be developed and also the big role. The citizen developer will play in the future now and in the future.
[00:06:21] Sascha Cutura: So you mentioned Lego there earlier, so does it mean, is it nearly,as simple erm to, to do that?
[00:06:28] Sascha Cutura: Maybe, maybe Gerald or Arno or Chris, you’d like to comment on that one.
[00:06:32] Lee Edwards: Gerald, I’m happy to.
[00:06:34] Gerald Pullen: You go for it, Lee. Go ahead. Yeah.
[00:06:36] Lee Edwards: So it’s, simpler than it used to be in terms of building processes and building these Lego blocks there is still a little bit of coding involved, but it’s, it’s minimal.
[00:06:48] Lee Edwards: I think it’s in the technology’s developing now to, allow people to do it themselves and for themselves rather than relying on it. Hmm. But yeah, it’s definitely getting there. The analogy I use with people, it’s say 10 years ago you had to go to a web developer to build your a website, well now you can do it through any number of, you know, GoDaddy and all of those guys. And it is very much a drag and drop. There is some work that needs to be done in the background, and it isn’t as simple as anybody can do it in a very short space of time. You have to have a little bit of training. You have to understand the structure of how you build the processes. Mm-hmm. . . But the good thing is with citizen development, your training, the people that used to do it manually to be able to do it to automate it, so they already understand the process. What you need to do is just get them to under understand the structure and the governance needed to go in there to make sure the process is robust for them.
[00:07:52] Sascha Cutura: Mm-hmm. Cause the last thing they wanna do is build something that then keeps falling over. Yeah. And then suddenly, yeah, if everyone is building it you, you end up with lots of sort of shadow. Shadow it isn’t it under it that makes it get very nervous and yes. And then you’re in a situation where, yeah, you don’t actually nobody actually benefits from it.
[00:08:10] Chris Pearce: can/t agree more. and if you look at some of the the customers I’ve got as Enate, we’ve got some customers with up to 10%, would you believe, of the operational workforce now with the ability to be part of the configuration setup. So they’re actually able to, you know, be involved in the configuration and change, which makes them citizen developers, as you know. As dictated by the overall operation, which is really powerful. So these people, mm-hmm. As you say Sasha and Arno they’ve got the right mindset. They understand the tooling, but also they’re within the guiderails of being able to use a tool set that allows that, that kind of rollout. So it’s, it’s very powerful and these people, you know are able to get on and, and apply their skills accordingly.
[00:08:56] Sascha Cutura: Oh, fantastic. So, yeah Arno touched a little bit on that earlier. [00:09:00] So, so all the on, on some of the benefits and why citizen development might be important. So Gerald so what, what do you think why citizen development is, is important?
[00:09:11] Gerald Pullen: Well, I think for context Sasha, I think if we wind back the clock, not all that far.
[00:09:18] Gerald Pullen: Mm-hmm. everything before required the IT function to develop these new applications or automations, the pace of change with slow lots of detailed procedures and red tape to follow and actually to make any any of these advancements a reality as Arno touched on so the, you know, deep coding skills were needed and they’ve never been in, in as plentiful suppliers as, as the demand dictates.
[00:09:43] Gerald Pullen: And, and if you fast forward to where we are now in, in 2022 coming out, Or, you know, well and truly, I guess certainly in the uk from the other side of the pandemic, there’s a real need for rapidly deployable solutions and, and customers [00:10:00] expectations from a digital perspective have, have never been higher and more and, and more subject to change.
[00:10:06] Gerald Pullen: So I think this is really, Citizen development comes into its own in terms of using that low and no-code technology to create kind of those, those small swift changes. And, and also I think importantly, you know, those changes that might not have passed the return on investment test in the past there, there’s lots of potential out there from addressing those sort of changes.
[00:10:31] Gerald Pullen: The citizen developers who know their business, they’re close to their processes and the, and, and the customer journeys they’re supporting. They can see these opportunities and in the past might have been frustrated because they either had to get it on it’s backlog and priority list and couldn’t or didn’t have the ability to fix those problems themselves, whereas, With these kind of simpler, low-code, no-code, drag and drop software solutions.
[00:10:59] Gerald Pullen: [00:11:00] There’s no need for people to sit back and wait or wait for it to, to, to get to their improvement initiative. They can do it themselves and thus you’ve kind of resolved a major source of employee frustration where they can see something. So obviously that needs fixing, but you know, now they’ve got the ability to do it themselves.
[00:11:17] Gerald Pullen: And I guess if you. Now as well and, and the very talent constrained market. Yeah. That we’re in at the moment. This, this, again, is a, I think, a huge area whereby if, if organizations can embrace this and equip and empower their employees to become citizen developers, I, I think it’s a great way for them to retain the talent they already have, but also attract new talent when they could see, you know, the sorts of things they’re, they’re gonna be able to get involved.
[00:11:45] Gerald Pullen: And, and when you look at kind of, I think McKinsey quote from fairly recently where, you know, 60% of all occupations have at least a 30% technically automated activity within it, there’s, there’s a big prize to go after. So I think mm, you know, cis, the [00:12:00] development really unlocks that.
[00:12:02] Sascha Cutura: Yeah, I think was everything.
[00:12:03] Sascha Cutura: What’s, what’s going on was the, was the pace business have to change? I think there’s not, there’s not even really an other choice, isn’t it? So to, to get, get, get these initiatives going and yeah, maybe Chris Lee, you like to, Arnold, you like to comment on, on a few of, on
[00:12:21] Gerald Pullen: this. I couldn’t agree
[00:12:22] Chris Pearce: more from it, especially from the talent perspective.
[00:12:24] Chris Pearce: I can sign an example of recently I brought together a, a, a whole group of my customers at Innate and they came from across all different industry verticals, from media to business process outsourcing to finance to global banks. The single. Important issue they had today was talent, both talent acquisition and talent retention.
[00:12:50] Chris Pearce: And Citizen Development is really helping with that. Getting, getting the, you know, the talent that exists, the power and the capabilities to be able to [00:13:00] affect change. And and, and it’s also been motivational to the talent that is already within organizations. So it’s, it’s the really big step forward building among the points that Gerald was making there.
[00:13:11] Chris Pearce: Completely agree.
[00:13:13] Gerald Pullen: Cool. Yeah.
[00:13:13] Arno Van Rooyen: And I’ll echo that as well from, from our customers. Big and
[00:13:17] Lee Edwards: small is the ability to retain staff and also to find resources. So,
[00:13:23] Gerald Pullen: What what we’ve,
[00:13:25] Lee Edwards: what we’ve been able to, to do with our customers is help them build an internal capability. So lots of organizations Well, everybody has resources.
[00:13:35] Lee Edwards: Everybody has people. Do we use them to the best of, of their capabilities and their potential. Mm-hmm. a lot of the time. If not, which is why we get high, high turnover. So what we’ve done especially a couple of our bigger customers, is we’ve put a training and mentoring program together that enables their people to be trained.
[00:13:54] Lee Edwards: And they, they had a lot of people that come out university but needed to get a job and they got. [00:14:00] Science degrees or they got that inclination for it, but didn’t really, weren’t able to either get into an IT role or didn’t really want to go into pure it. And this is a, a, a good place for people to be because it, it allows them to have a potential career path.
[00:14:16] Lee Edwards: They go from manually processing activities on a day-to-day basis, which are, you know, for them is, well for anybody is really mind numbing. And they learned a new skill and they were able to. Positively impact their organization to actually move the business forward. And because their internal resources, it meant that there was greater retention and greater staff satisfaction as opposed to, as well as some of the other benefits you get from automation is, is customer experience and therefore the customers staying with you for a longer period.
[00:14:50] Lee Edwards: So yeah, it’s definitely. A good thing for organizations to consider, not only because of the benefits of delivering the automation, but also staff [00:15:00] retention and customer retention
[00:15:01] Arno Van Rooyen: as well. Yeah, and again, I, I think it’s, it’s sort of broadly speaking, the hard benefits of bringing a citizen developer programming to your business where.
[00:15:14] Arno Van Rooyen: You know, you could use the good ideas that people have and you can build on top of that. And of course that’s gonna bring change in optimization and, and, and, and cost savings. But then there’s also the soft, the soft benefits of, you know, employee satisfaction. People actually empowered to solve problems themselves.
[00:15:32] Arno Van Rooyen: And of course, with, with all of this, we have to remember, and, and Sasha and myself, we’ve been talking about citizen development for a while on this show. and you know, we, we always talk about the fact that good governance should be in place, good governance frameworks, just to make sure that you provide people the freedom to express themselves, the freedom to use these these modern.
[00:15:56] Arno Van Rooyen: Tools to create these applications that’s very beneficial [00:16:00] for themselves, but without having sort of a technical debt in the future where it becomes problematic and a risk to the business. Mm-hmm. . So it’s, it’s kind of like just holistically looking and there’s a, there’s a, there’s, there’s great minds today on this show.
[00:16:13] Arno Van Rooyen: You know people that, that deals with this and help their customers day in day. And we’ll make a list on the, on the, the show notes anyway, if, if our listeners wants to, to get in touch with them. But I, I guess the key is also just to, when you start with a first step in this journey, you want to create a, a a citizen development program in your business, it is always good to have that holistic view as well to say, well, you know, what are the pitfalls?
[00:16:39] Arno Van Rooyen: You know, how do we navigate this and how we, how do we do it right? So we actually do the right thing for people, so, so they can innovate. You know, without causing frustration because I don’t know, perhaps we’ve done it the wrong way. The intent was good, but the execution wasn’t that great, you know? So there are those things to to consider as well.
[00:16:57] Arno Van Rooyen: But for me, how I see the demand for [00:17:00] rapid application development is big. It’s, you know, we see it in our, our, our day-to-day with our customers. As soon as they see the, the, the speed of, of, of actually taking an idea and actually turning it into an app and, you know, so, so, so, so the demand is there and it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s something that just needs to be controlled when you start opening it up to the, the citizen development community as well.
[00:17:24] Arno Van Rooyen: And I think when you do it right, you could really, really see transformational. Effects with inside your business. Mm-hmm. Where, where people you know, will actually use these platforms to solve problems that you didn’t know even exist, right? Mm-hmm. , and hopefully you’ll start seeing some of the spreadsheets disappear, right?
[00:17:44] Sascha Cutura: Absolutely. Yeah. And it seems like with these technologies nowadays it comes out of sort of the, the typical enterprise domain and now also into like the smaller businesses, which is great. So, so they can also then get all the benefits from, [00:18:00] from, from automation and do it themselves.
[00:18:02] Sascha Cutura: Something which was. Wasn’t possible before. First of all was costs, and obviously was the skillset set. Yeah. So this is, this is really good to see. And that brings me to, to my next question. How does citizen development add value to businesses? Maybe Chris you, you like to share some of your insights there?
[00:18:21] Sascha Cutura: Yeah, sure.
[00:18:22] Chris Pearce: Well, it’s It’s a big thing for customers in terms of the ability to empower people to make change, and also the benefits come from that change sitting. Where the business knowledge is. So by having the business knowledge there, you can actually affect that change and have that actionable change in place quickly.
[00:18:41] Chris Pearce: If you think of in an old style more, it setup the, the number of proxies that sit within a chain from the person who’s actually requesting a change right through to the implementer. That’s a lot. Time and efforts and involvement from many [00:19:00] departments, many people, lots of documentation. But to bring that in and give that change capability to people who have the knowledge that really dials up the ability for that to be, you know, actionable incredibly quickly.
[00:19:15] Chris Pearce: Which allows, of course, your customers to keep pace with their customers. Their customer requirements are changing. They want to. In a timely manner as a result, and it allows them to affect that change quickly. I think there’s a lot of other softer benefits as well to the business. So beyond the actual you know, the, the ability to change in line with the business requirements, I think it’s motivational.
[00:19:37] Chris Pearce: To the the people within the teams who have been empowered to be able to make that kind of change. It removes the frustration, which is the converse of that in that if your business is moving forward and your customers’ businesses are moving forward, but you’ve got, you know, lag or inertia, which is within your business, which means you can’t change as quickly as you want to [00:20:00] that will.
[00:20:00] Chris Pearce: Introduce frustration within the teams. And again, as we’ve been saying earlier, it could give you a talent problem going forwards. Mm-hmm. . But also I think what’s really important is that and we touched on it slightly, that the benefits come through the way in which you implement that change. Some of the other benefits to the business is that the implementation is within guide rails.
[00:20:23] Chris Pearce: You can introduce, for example, global standards and blueprints which are then subject to local variation, but it’s all within, you know, a given set of compliances and that really helps the business. In over Autumns with things like you know, it’s a solution that is secure and therefore, you know, will have been approved by the organization as a whole.
[00:20:46] Chris Pearce: You won’t have support issues around that. Change management. In the way that perhaps we would’ve had, you know, 20 30 years ago with what we used to call end user computing and gray it. It definitely isn’t that [00:21:00] world. You know, this is well governed, well-structured. Compliance software that allows that empowerment of the individuals to make change where change is required.
[00:21:12] Chris Pearce: And I think the other, the other thing I see from our customers is that they, they look at it as a consistency, not standardization, which is an important distinction to make around the business benefits that that exist through this. Oh,
[00:21:26] Sascha Cutura: cool. So is there any, anything you’d like to add Arno?
[00:21:33] Arno Van Rooyen: Yeah. I’d just like to add I’ll just be brief. I think it’s, it’s all about innovation and kind of solving, quote unquote, my problems, right? It’s the sort of thing that I know what those problems are. I know those processes. If I have the right tools around me.
[00:21:52] Arno Van Rooyen: I can actually on in small kind of incremental scales sort of solve those problems. [00:22:00] And, you know, that makes me more effective as an employee or as a person to actually deal with the things that I would like to do rather than actually crunching numbers on a, on spreadsheet from, you know, if I have to kind of create a report and copying any different spreadsheets.
[00:22:16] Arno Van Rooyen: Mm-hmm. . So for me it’s all kind of, if you, if it’s centered around the person. and my problems. I think again, that that sort of just allows that innovation for myself to be able to address these issues.
[00:22:31] Sascha Cutura: Yeah. Cool. So I think the question we always get answer on the podcast is, is around the, the next topic.
[00:22:37] Sascha Cutura: So from, from the white paper I have taken some points and it’s all about getting it right. Yeah. So and how to get started because it can go completely the wrong direction if you, if you. Yeah, wrong. So let’s on, on a high level, go through the, the points you put together here and we can go into discussion Lee.
[00:22:58] Sascha Cutura: So, so unlocking [00:23:00] the potential of citizen development. So you mentioned here, so it’s important to link this company strategy, then look at consider business context, and then adopt the right technology. Number four will be like developing a center of excellence, also a topic we discuss here a lot. Define clear responsibilities and always think end to end and yeah.
[00:23:23] Sascha Cutura: So these are really great points to, to get into. Yeah. Lee, so what, what do you think? Yes, the key
[00:23:29] Gerald Pullen: here, well,
[00:23:31] Lee Edwards: Those points there are, you kind like say your high level things. It’s, but I think to follow on from what Chris said is, is you need some guide rails around how the technology’s used and the which technology you use and all of that comes from.
[00:23:49] Lee Edwards: What is your company strategy? Where do you want to go as an organization? Where do you see yourself being, you know, do you want to be a leader in the market? Do you want to grow [00:24:00] exponentially? Mm-hmm. . All of those kind of things you need to consider, because then that will give you a view of, well, how, what do we need to do?
[00:24:08] Lee Edwards: What, what things do we need to change? How do we need to innovate? And how we’re gonna, how we’re gonna do with that, with the people that we, that we have a, a lot of my. Customers talk about, I want to do more. I don’t wanna lose people, I wanna do more with the people that I’ve got. And looking at the areas of inefficiency within the organization or pain points and looking, so that’s kind of where you’ve got your.
[00:24:32] Lee Edwards: Business context, what is it that is causing us a problem? That means that we can’t go to the next level and we can’t grow the business, or we, we can’t become the leader or we can’t consolidate our position. And so using linking those two together, you then start thinking about what is the right use of the technology?
[00:24:51] Lee Edwards: Are we. As an organization, are we highly regulated? So do we need more of an enterprise solution? Do we need, or are we more [00:25:00] flexible and can we have remote desktop capabilities or is it a combination of both? So then once you’ve chosen the right technology for, for you, and it could be a combination of more than one.
[00:25:09] Lee Edwards: Is then start thinking about the guide rails that Chris mentioned and what is our operating model? How do we want to control and manage this capability? Because what the worst thing you want in the world, I think somebody mentioned earlier is you get gray it and then you get your security and Info security guys, and you get your cyber guys all over it and, and having great concerns that there’s no control in place.
[00:25:33] Lee Edwards: Mm-hmm. . So having the center of excellence and, and you center of excellence, don’t you? No. Don’t need to be a huge, great deal of organization and don’t need to have lots of rules and regulations in there. It’s about creating a framework that people can follow to make sure that you leverage the technologies and the skills and.
[00:25:52] Lee Edwards: The innovation that people bring to the table in a way that allows you to be [00:26:00] agile and nimble and deliver things quickly, but still having some structures around it. So identifying are, are these the right processes to be automated? Or, or is there something within the existing functionality of the applications that they’re working on?
[00:26:16] Lee Edwards: We just don’t know about or we haven’t turned on or, or that a system is gonna be sunsetted in six months, can be replaced by some super fantastic ERP system. Mm-hmm. , no need for the automation. It’s, it’s making sure you choose the right processes to automate when taking into consideration all the other things that are happening within the organiz.
[00:26:38] Lee Edwards: and clear responsibilities. Absolutely. You have to have a racy in place. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything that’s overpowering and demanding on people and restrictive, but at the same time, you need to understand if you know we’re building processes, who runs them. Who maintains them? What’s the structure for any change management from the [00:27:00] applications that they’re running against?
[00:27:01] Lee Edwards: All of those kind of things need to be considered and people need to, to understand what their roles and responsibilities are. Mm-hmm. . And then the last bit is, I see this so many times where, Rather than thinking about the end-to-end process, people will just look at, oh, this, this is a little bit of automation I can do here, and it might be a 10% of the process, but actually look at, if you look at a, maybe a customer journey.
[00:27:29] Lee Edwards: Or, or an end to end process within a department. Then look at what can be automated, then look at what you can optimize and lean before and standardize before you start thinking about automation. There’s nothing worse than automat either automating part of a process or a process that’s either clearly or not clearly defined.
[00:27:51] Lee Edwards: Mm-hmm. , or is,
[00:27:53] Gerald Pullen: Broken.
[00:27:54] Sascha Cutura: Mm. That will be the worst. Indeed. Yeah, and I think sometimes it’s very difficult to, [or it’s not difficult, but I guess when some people are getting excited about automation, they want to get started right away. And these six points look really really useful.
[00:28:08] Sascha Cutura: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:28:09] Lee Edwards: No, I see that customers as soon as you start like, when can we start building? When can we start, when can you see your operation start? No, no guys. Right? You gotta have a, you’ve gotta have an operating model that sits around it, or a framework to make sure you choose the right things and that you automate them in the right pla in the right way.
[00:28:25] Lee Edwards: Mm-hmm. , they’re sustainable and maintainable.
[00:28:28] Sascha Cutura: Cool. Thank you very much. Any, any other points maybe from you, Anna? Gerald?
[00:28:35] Gerald Pullen: I think I’d just throw in Sasha. I endorse everything Lee said. And, and both Lee and I have got extensive experience, I guess, of implementing the OP models that do drive success in this space and, and the establishment of centers of excellence.
[00:28:51] Gerald Pullen: And I, I can’t, I guess, stress enough that the ingredients to this are very much, as much as what you automate. It’s [00:29:00] absolutely. How, and having that sustainability in place to make sure I think Chris used the praise blueprint earlier, just making sure that you are moving forward as an organization in this area in a cohesive way so you don’t end up with.
[00:29:15] Gerald Pullen: Kind a wild west situation where one of your departments is adopting a totally different approach or technology to another. This, you know, the key to this is, is very much, I think community is, is really important so that people are talking to each other, sharing what their ideas are, sharing best practices, and then you have that kind of, COE is the not, not the one.
[00:29:37] Gerald Pullen: A bad C OE is one where it’s kind of almost introducing the draconian things that people didn’t like about old it. A great COE is just to be an ab absolutely facilitate and make sure that the best practice does spread around and, and, and the guardrails are there, but done in an absolutely the right way to enable value rather than stifle it.
[00:29:59] Gerald Pullen: [00:30:00] Mm-hmm. .
[00:30:01] Sascha Cutura: Yeah, it’s a fine, fine balance there. And I’d
[00:30:05] Chris Pearce: agree completely what the guys are saying as well. And also what, just to add, what I see from our customers as well is, is picking up on Joe’s point about centers of excellence. We also see centers, excellence, centers of excellence, I should say, that then spawn out into smaller pods.
[00:30:24] Chris Pearce: Yeah. For local centers, you know, you take a global organization. Mm-hmm. And they will have, again, back to my point about the blueprint that will come from a, you know, a central global standard that is then passed out to the citizen development teams, which are pods in certain geographies around the world.
[00:30:45] Chris Pearce: Who are aligned to the local business and the local business needs, and even cultural differences require a different approach. Yeah. To how they implement business. And therefore that’s, that’s a really great example of seeing citizen developments, [00:31:00] you know, pass out across an organization. Oh, very
[00:31:04] Sascha Cutura: cool.
[00:31:05] Sascha Cutura: Yeah. Super important. So we talked about how we do it, right? And how does the future look like of citizen development, Gerald?
[00:31:17] Gerald Pullen: Yeah, so I think that everything we’ve all spoken about today just points at the fact that citizen development supported. Different flavors of technology solutions, and we’ve mentioned low and no code, but that, you know, they’re not the only elements to this, but yeah, everything’s pointing towards it being here to stay and becoming increasingly widespread, and organizations using this as increasingly a major lever to drive their digital transformation.
[00:31:48] Gerald Pullen: And the power and potential of kind of well run and well coordinated system development efforts. And we’ve really majored on the, the kind of the coordination piece I think here being, being absolutely [00:32:00] pivotal. But the, the power is really quite incredible, not just in the obvious business benefits we’ve spoken about, but you know, if you imagine a world.
[00:32:09] Gerald Pullen: You know, the following things are, are, are commonplace. It, it’s, it’s really kind of no limit to, to what organizations can, can achieve. So, you know, I think if your business users are empowered and have the capability and tools to fix the problems that are frustrating them mm-hmm. Organizations aren’t held back by a, a, a shortage of very highly skilled and expensive developers.
[00:32:34] Gerald Pullen: Organizations have a, a kind of a lever to really accelerate their digital transformation with, with the people that already work for them. Mm-hmm. And by investing in, in them and their development. And on that same point, you can retain talent by giving them new opportunities to learn and grow and make a difference.
[00:32:52] Gerald Pullen: Those all sound like kind of very positive things that could all be enabled by doing citizen development in the right way. Mm-hmm. [00:33:00] And I. For me the bit that is really important with CIS and development is yes, it’s clearly about technology and using that to kind of drive improved experience for customers and transform, transform journeys for customers.
[00:33:15] Gerald Pullen: But it, I don’t think it can be forgotten that the real piece here I think is cultural as much as anything else. You know, Lee was speaking about kind of the link back to business strategy and I think. If you don’t set the right conditions for success and, and you don’t have the cultural elements to doing citizen development right, then I, I don’t think it can be successful.
[00:33:38] Gerald Pullen: But if you get that cultural piece right, and then the guardrails we’ve spoken about and, and those ingredients, success we’ve just run through there. That, you know, everyone will be able to read in a bit more depth in, in the white paper. Those kind of six kind of key ingredients to unlock the full potential assist development.
[00:33:55] Gerald Pullen: Mm-hmm. , the future of, of this Is it, you know, really as [00:34:00] I see it kind of exponential. Growth and not just in kind of big major enterprise way more, you know, there’s no reason why local businesses couldn’t use this. You know, and small businesses couldn’t use this where he previously there might have been kind of, there might have been a barrier to entry really because of the expense of getting on the way.
[00:34:21] Gerald Pullen: Mm-hmm. , I really see this as, as something. You know, anyone with the, you know, the right wheel and the right kind of knowledge to get started can really make a difference using, using system development.
[00:34:33] Sascha Cutura: I can imagine then it, it might be even more difficult these days with, with what’s going on in the market that are vendors coming up left and right and center.
[00:34:41] Sascha Cutura: Everyone is doing low code, no code, even no code, AI and r p, those kind of things. So, so you have a huge tool set to choose from. So that, that, that should, yeah, I think this is a big challenge too, right?
[00:34:58] Sascha Cutura: Any, any thoughts on, on that?
[00:35:00] Chris Pearce: I think Gerald hits on a really good point about smaller and medium sized enterprises as well. Starting to look at this as organizations wake up to the benefits. You look at, you know, the speed of adoption of change, the, the speed to market, the lower total cost of ownership.
[00:35:18] Chris Pearce: And the strategic alignment that you can put in place through the, you know, the measures that we’ve talked about already today is, will really be waking up CEOs, COOs, and even CTOs to the, you know, the benefits of this approach. So I can only, yeah, I can only agree that this will grow. Definitely within large enterprise, but it will start to perforate down to smaller businesses as they, as they are able to adopt those benefits as well.
[00:35:44] Chris Pearce: Because the, the, you know, the, the barriers to entry are, are coming down. Yeah.
[00:35:52] Lee Edwards: I’ve seen that even with some of my smaller customers that they’re, they’re starting to adopt that because they see that they then have the control themselves [00:36:00] mm-hmm. so they don’t have to keep going out to externals or rely on it.
[00:36:04] Lee Edwards: Who should really be focused on those big ERP implementations and. Dealing with some of the, the, the, the stuff that’s at the long end of the tail of change. Mm-hmm. . So yeah, definitely. I think it’s it enables the business to take control and make the differences, which means that then they can both del deliver a better service for their customers, but also achieve their own targets that they have in the, in the opera, especially in the operation space.
[00:36:33] Sascha Cutura: Yeah. There’s plenty of other, other stuff to do, isn’t it? For the high, high code developers. Yes. Cool. So yeah, you so we mentioned the web not the. We mentioned the white paper earlier. So there is a white paper a more in depth insight into this topic we discussed today. So yeah, the white paper yeah, can be downloaded and we will put the, the link into the, the show notes later and Yeah.
[00:36:58] Sascha Cutura: Thanks a lot. Gerald Lee, [00:37:00] Chris, for joining the panel discussion today, and thanks a lot, Anna, of course, joining me here. like, like usual. I’m sure our listeners out there all want to become a citizen developer now or want to really spread the word on it and bring that into the organizations.
[00:37:12] Sascha Cutura: I hope that’s the case. That’s what we try to do here at the podcast to really make everyone excited about what process and automation can do. So, what is the best for our listeners to get in touch with, with you guys?
[00:37:29] Gerald Pullen: I think for me, Sasha LinkedIn is always a, mm-hmm. a good route. And, and with name like Gerald, I think there’s only, there’s certainly only one of me working gobeyond partners on there. So, easy enough, find.
[00:37:42] Chris Pearce: Yeah, I’ll second that. Gerald, I think you’re right. LinkedIn’s the, the is the right place to start, isn’t it?
[00:37:47] Chris Pearce: And and I am the only Chris Pierce at Enate, that’s for sure. So I look forward to hearing from people.
[00:37:53] Lee Edwards: Yeah, absolutely. LinkedIn’s the easiest
[00:37:55] Sascha Cutura: option. Cool. That’s fantastic. Yeah. So. that white paper will be available to download. And yeah, it was a great discussion on the topic of citizen development and yeah, here at the automation guys.
[00:38:09] Sascha Cutura: Indeed we are sharing our experience and passion for, for processes automation, as I said, and we really want everyone to become a citizen developer, want to really play around what’s low-code and no-code. And, and that’s why we created as well, the automation guys community where, where everyone can yeah, jump onto an automation sandbox when they join the membership And yeah, you can get started.
[00:38:31] Sascha Cutura: Was, was experimenting hands-on. Automation yeah, and maybe. Fiddle around with ideas and then introducing these ideas maybe internally. So that’s that’s a great thing for everyone to check out. Yeah, get started today automation guys.net and join the community. And as always yeah, reach out if you have any feedback and questions to Arno and myself and yeah.Thanks a lot. Again, Gerald Lee and Chris, it was a pleasure to have you on the show today. And yeah, thanks
[00:38:59] Gerald Pullen: thanks for having us, thank you.
[00:39:02] Sascha Cutura: guys. Thank you. Yeah. We will be back with another episode of the Process and Automation podcast very soon, and until then, let’s automate it.
[00:39:16] Sascha Cutura: Unfortunately, that’s it again with this episode of the Process and Automation Podcast. If you like this episode, please give us a five star rating and don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any upcoming episode. We hope you will tune in next time and until. Let’s automate it.